The Odua People’s Congress has concluded that the Federal government and the Police are on the side of the Hausa/Fulani in the Ile Ife Crisis and have given a 48hours ultimatum to arrest the Hausa persons involved in the recent ethnic clashes in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
According to the Punch, in a statement on Thursday, the founder of the organisation, Fredrick Fasehun, said if the government fails to do as it said, he would be forced to defend justice according to his own whims and caprices.
It said, “We hereby call on the Federal Government to intervene within the next 48 hours to ensure that justice is institutionalised and no side is provoked to defend justice according to its whims and caprices. Various communities have Abraham as their father. A word is enough for the wise.”
The group said it was unfortunate that 20 Yoruba persons, including a monarch, were arrested and paraded by the police while no Hausa/Fulani person was detained.
The OPC added, “The police and the Federal Government appear determined to make scapegoats of Yoruba living in Ife over this crisis. It is unfortunate, strange and insensitive that two people are fighting and authorities are arresting only one party in this unfortunate mayhem.
“We sympathise with all victims and casualties over this moment of madness that has eroded two centuries of harmonious cohabitation between the Hausa settlers and their Yoruba hosts. But we demand equal treatment of everyone involved on both sides of this crisis.”
The group questioned the role of a former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in the arrest of the 20 persons.
It said Kwankwaso stampeded Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and the Commissioner of Police into the ‘senseless’ arrests.
OPC said Kwankwaso’s role is similar to the one played by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Yoruba/Fulani clash in Ibadan in 2000.
“Kwankwanso’s post-violence role in Ife is akin to that played by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari who in October 2000 travelled to Ibadan to challenge the late governor Lam Adesina over the reprisal on Fulani herdsmen who had unleashed an orgy of raping and killings on Yoruba farming communities.
“This kind of bias will only embolden belligerent Hausa-Fulani throughout Nigeria and give them pariah status amongst other nationalities,” the OPC warned.
Also, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and the Gani Adams’ faction of the OPC have cautioned the police over the handling of investigation on the crisis in Ile-Ife.
In separate statements, they accused the police of displaying ethnic bias in their investigation, noting that this is not good for the unity of Nigeria and its people.